Tl;dr — Metis is building the first-of-its-kind Hybrid rollup for Ethereum, poised to be delivered after decentralizing the sequencer.
Metis Andromeda arose from the necessity for permissionless and open collaboration, providing Ethereum users with an EVM Equivalent, lightning-fast, and easy-to-use Layer 2. Following the launch, a succession of upgrades were introduced, including gas calculation, peer node support, a community validator program, and, finally, the Smart L2. By implementing the Smart L2 upgrade, Andromeda enabled the lowest fees among any L2 for its users, while preserving Ethereum’s underlying security. This was just the beginning.
One of the 3 most essential elements of a blockchain network is decentralization. During 2022, Metis Andromeda took big steps towards it, reaching over 100 verifier nodes in the network, and launching initiatives like the Community Ecosystem Governance (CEG). Nevertheless, 2023 is going to be the year of decentralization in Metis Andromeda: sequencer decentralization, and governance decentralization. In this roadmap, we’ll cover the former, among other upcoming technical implementations for 2023.
Metis Andromeda will be implementing Bedrock, designed by Optimism. By implementing Bedrock, Metis will be able to lower fees even MORE. Some exciting features that will come with the upgrade:
- Alternative clients implementation capabilities, enabling a more secure environment for users
- Consensus and execution separation, allowing for seamless integration of Proto-Danksharding (EIP-4844)
- Deposits time will be shortened, allowing for a better user experience
- Smart sync, sequencing and state submission, in order to enhance network robustness
- Fast peer-to-peer networking, facilitating running nodes in the network
- Optimal Calldata submission, providing users with the cheapest transactions among any rollup.
Last, but not least, Cannon. Bedrock will also enable the implementation of Cannon fraud proof system. Cannon will enable simplicity and security in Andromeda, helping us to keep paving the way toward a web3 economy. As rightfully said by the Optimism team, “Bedrock (combined with Cannon) is the only rollup architecture capable of easily supporting multiple fault proof and client implementations.”
Metis will implement a decentralized sequencer pool as we strive toward security and decentralization for our users. Cannon fraud-proof system will be a big step, but without a decentralized sequencer, it’s irrelevant, and vice versa. All Rollups, zero-knowledge or optimistic, have been talking about decentralizing the sequencer for years already. Metis will finally do it. By implementing a decentralized sequencer pool, we will ensure the security and liveness of the blockchain, two essential features in order to have robust decentralized finances and network. This implementation will ensure that no one bad actor can tamper with or censor the network.
This will be the first instance of an Ethereum Layer 2 sharing the Sequencer’s revenue with the community. More details on white-listing will be published soon.
According to Vitalik Buterin’s proposed schema for categorizing rollups, Metis is currently at Stage 0. After integrating fraud proofs, we’ll be at Stage 1, and after decentralizing the sequencer we’ll be labeled as a Fully Functional Rollup.
Hybrid Rollup: The best of both worlds
Metis is building a first-of-its-kind Hybrid Rollup by combining the transcendent scalability of the Optimistic Rollup architecture with the security provided by Zero-Knowledge cryptographic proofs.
Optimistic Rollups are EVM-compatible, extremely cost-efficient, and provide lightning-fast transaction confirmations. The main limitations consist of a lack of transaction finality, given all optimistic rollups need a 7-day period for transaction finality in case fraud proofs need to be executed. This also limits the ability of users to withdraw from Optimistic Rollups to Ethereum, given it takes 7-days for funds to be bridged.
Zero-Knowledge Rollups, on the other hand, are extremely secure, censorship-resistant, and provide almost immediate transaction finality. They are currently being labeled as the future of rollups. Nevertheless, they also have their own limitations, mainly consisting of slower transaction confirmations, higher complexity for builders, arguable EVM compatibility, and higher transaction costs than Optimistic Rollups.
If each of these has the capabilities that the other architecture is missing, combining them would enable the best of both worlds in a single rollup class, and that’s exactly what MetisDAO Foundation is building: Hybrid Rollups.
- EVM Equivalence: By utilizing the Optimistic Rollup architecture, Metis can offer Ethereum developers an easy-to-code-in blockchain.
- Faster transaction finality: By implementing zero-knowledge proofs to our optimistic rollup architecture, transaction finality time will be reduced from 7 days to approximately 4 hours.
- Enhanced Security: Validity proofs ensure the correctness of off-chain transactions and prevent operators from executing invalid state transitions. They rely on trustless cryptographic mechanisms for security.
- Increased Throughput: Zero-knowledge proofs remove the need for extra data, each transaction holds only the minimum required. This greatly increases throughput, consequently helping reduce Ethereum’s congestion.
- Capital Efficiency: Users benefit from greater capital efficiency and can withdraw funds from Layer 2s without delays.
- Decentralization: All transactions are processed in parallel, encouraging verifier decentralization. This model stores data needed to recover the off-chain state on L1, which guarantees security, censorship resistance, and decentralization.
The Hybrid Rollup is achieved by utilizing zkMIPS. This new rollup architecture will consist of STARK-based provers/verifiers on MIPS, generated by Cannon.
Improved cost-efficient proof generation, recursive proofs, and quantum safety.
Hybrid Rollups will provide fast confirmations and fast finality, but will impose a slight increase in cost. This is why the Smart L2 upgrade was implemented in May 2022, paving the way for the upcoming Hybrid Rollup architecture. Essentially, they will enable the best of both worlds.
How does the Hybrid Rollup Work?
When a user makes a transaction in the network, Hybrid Rollups would work as follows:
- Cloud Computing
- The Sequencer produces the blocks
- The Proposer submits the Transactions and States
- The prover reads from L1 to produce the blocks and MIPS programs
- The Prover submits the zero knowledge proofs once proof generation is completed.
— If not submitted, the verifier gets to start fraud proofs process
— The sequencer potentially gets slashed
- Once proof has been submitted, the smart contract is satisfied
— If not satisfied, the verifier gets to start fraud proofs process
— The sequencer potentially gets slashed
- Transaction Finalized.
The high-level scalability of Optimistic Rollup architecture, working in tandem with the security, censorship resistance, and fast finality enabled by Zero-Knowledge proofs, will provide a rollup architecture like never seen before. Hybrid Rollups will lay the ground for hosting open, trustless, and decentralized collaboration.
By combining all the upcoming implementations covered in this roadmap, Metis is building a state-of-the-art Layer 2 ecosystem to host and secure decentralized applications. We remain committed to our vision of building a web3 economy, and believe that these upcoming developments will enable the necessary degrees of scalability, security, and decentralization in order to achieve this vision. The Hybrid Rollup architecture will pave the way towards faster transaction finality, increased security, throughput, and capital efficiency on an easy-to-code decentralized blockchain: the perfect mix in order to host a web3 economy.
Metis Andromeda is an EVM-Equivalent Ethereum Layer-2 focused on bridging the gap between Web2 and Web3. Metis provides users with a secure, decentralized, and scalable easy-to-use network. By combining a robust Layer 2 with on-chain credentials and Decentralized Autonomous Companies (DACs), Metis is building the perfect ecosystem to host open, decentralized and trustless collaboration, secured by Ethereum.